The discs in our spine serve as cushions between the bones of our vertebrae that absorb shock. A herniated disc is the occurrence of a weak/ torn outer ring that causes the inner gel material to escape. Although this incident is often referred to as “slipped disks”, they do not actually split in the process, rather bulge or rupture into the nearby tissue. When this occurs pressure is put onto the spinal chord, and symptoms such as numbness, weakness, aching, and burning often occur.
Although these symptoms seem very recognizable, people often experience no symptoms from a herniated disc. Yet with that in mind, it’s important to know what causes people to be more susceptible to herniated discs. Some of the more common causes are age, lifting heavy objects, weak muscles, or obesity. The most commonly effected and susceptible area is the lower back, but it’s important to recognize that any disk can be effected.
HERNIATED DISC PAIN
Although entirely avoiding a herniated disc is difficult to do, steps can be done to reduce the risk. If you have a job that requires hard labor and lifting, try bending and lifting from your knees regularly. Maintain a healthy weight, stretch periodically during several hours of sitting, and strengthen your back, leg, and abdomen muscles.
While actions can be taken to better symptoms of a slipped disk, they can also become worse over time. If left untreated, a severe herniated disk can cause permanent nerve damage. Ultimately, if you are experiencing any sort of pain that limits activity in your spinal area, getting an expert opinion is highly recommended for this reason. If located near or in the greater Grand Rapids area, feel free to contact The Chiropractic Doctors office for a second opinion.
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This article was reviewed and approved by Dr. Matthew Phinney.